Interviews

Interview with Kristina Mahr

Kristina Mahr head shotToday I invited Kristina Mahr to join us and talk about her newest release, All That We See or Seem.

About Kristina:

Kristina Mahr devotes her days to numbers and her nights to words. She works full-time as an accountant in the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her two dogs and two cats, but her true passion is writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and waking up at the crack of dawn every weekend to watch the Premier League.

Website: http://www.kristinamahr.com

Facebook: @AuthorKristinaMahr

Twitter: @Kristina_Mahr

Instagram: Kristina.Mahr

Now some questions!

How did you come up with the idea for All That We See Or Seem?

Luckily for me, my sister has the most vivid possible dreams! So one day, way back in February 2014, she told me about a dream she had about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams. As you can imagine, it sparked a lot of questions in my mind. Who was this girl? What were these dreams like? Was it all happening inside of her head? What hope was there for her and this boy? All of these questions haunted me in that lovely way that story ideas do, until the pieces that came to form All That We See Or Seem fell together.

Which books or authors have influenced you the most?

One of my foremost influencers is Marisa de los Santos. She writes adult fiction, but she has the most beautiful, lyrical prose. Specifically, her novel Belong to Me is full of lines that make me want to dramatically clasp my hands to my chest and fall to my knees, they’re just so gorgeous.

My other biggest influence is Maggie Stiefvater. Not only is her writing style also right up my alley with the poetic feel to it, but her characters come to life so vividly and distinctly. Scorpio Races is one of my all-time favorite novels because of this. Reading it is like stepping into the pages and being part of that world.

And then, I absolutely have to mention Tahereh Mafi. Her Shatter Me series… goals. Absolute writing goals. She essentially writes poetry in prose form, and she does it so stunningly, I have to pause every now and then to reread lines over and over again just to marvel over the way she manages to arrange words.

What is your writing process like?

I start with an outline, but I always laugh while I create it, because I know there is simply no way I’m going to stick with it. But it gives me an idea of the story I want to create. Along with the outline, I like to know the world in which the story will exist. And, most importantly, I like to understand the main characters – who they are and what they’re trying to accomplish. From there, I’m ready to start writing! The first 10k words or so typically spill out of me onto the page because there’s nothing like beginnings. They’re exhilarating and exciting. But then, inevitably, I hit a wall. I refer to my outline and see how far I’ve strayed, and now that I know my characters better, I reevaluate what’s to come. I create a plot map to have a visual of upcoming scenes. I do the majority of my planning at this point, now that I’ve got a beginning.

I’m also the type of writer who cannot stand to write a messy first draft. I edit as I write, and I have a hard time leaving a scene behind unless I’m completely happy with it. It might make the first draft take a little longer, but it helps a lot in terms of revisions.

What gave you the most difficulty when writing All That We See Or Seem?

Bran was probably the trickiest character for me to write. I know Reeve backwards and forwards, and Arden was just so much fun, but Bran… he was a tough nut to crack. He keeps his emotions very in check and has some pretty high walls built up, and especially when writing first person from Reeve’s perspective… well, she has no idea what he’s thinking a lot of the time! But as the writer, it was my job to break him open and let the reader (and Reeve!) get a glimpse of what makes him tick. What he wants, what he fears. How he became the person he is. I hope I succeeded. I certainly feel like I came to know him and love him! (I’m heavily biased, though. I love all of my characters.)

What is your favorite writing fuel?

Iced tea! So much iced tea. I need it to start my days like other people need coffee.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from this book?

I hope that the strongest theme in this book is – hope. Even when circumstances seem impossible to navigate, and there is absolutely no reason to have hope, I am a firm believer that anything is possible, and you can see a lot of that belief of mine in Reeve. None of us are stuck on our path. We don’t have to play the cards we’re dealt – we can find new cards. Better cards. The cards we want most. And we can play those instead. (Is that how card games work? I feel like it’s not. But this is the metaphor I’m sticking with.)

What’s your next project?

While I wait on edits to come back to me for A Dream Within a Dream (the sequel to All That We See or Seem,) I’m in the early planning stages of a novel based on a short story I wrote a couple of years ago called Heartfire. You can find the short story here: https://bandofdreamersstories.tumblr.com/post/142534503879/heartfire. I am so excited to write this book and dive back into the world I built two years ago!

About All That We See Or Seem:

All That We See Or SeemEvery night, seventeen-year-old Reeve Lennox finds herself under a noose.

By day she is a lady of Acarsaid’s royal house, daydreaming of adventure and love. But every night in sleep she wanders through a nightmarish city, an invisible witness to the screeches of monsters and the screams of their victims. Her only consolation is Bran, a battle-torn young man with a selfless heart and eyes that reflect the stars.

Yet while Reeve falls deeper into her dreams, in truth she is engaged to Arden, a mercurial nobleman who has long been cured of his belief in love and breathes fire and flattery like other people breathe air.

Torn between two lives, Reeve struggles to remember what’s real. Until night and day collide, with a revelation that threatens all of Acarsaid.

Purchase your copy today and don’t forget to add it to your shelf on Goodreads!

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Interviews

Interview with Rebekah DeVall

Author PhotoToday we have the lovely Rebekah DeVall stopping by to tell us a little bit about herself and her newest release, Iron Core, the introduction to a gritty serial which is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

About Rebekah:

Rebekah DeVall prides herself on being the girl who wrote 200,000 words in 21 days. She’s a Christian author with a penchant for killing characters and a love for writing real female protagonists described as “the example of a Christian hero that young readers need to see”.

Contact Rebekah: 

Now, some questions for Rebekah!

  1. Why do you like to write stories?

I like to write stories because I love to live vicariously. I love to explore lives outside my own and dig deep into themes and issues that I’ll never experience in my life. There’s something special about digging deep and touching topics that many people are afraid to touch.

  1. If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and why? What would you do together?

I would probably spend the day with Erec, the mentor character in Iron Core. I feel like he’d have so much wisdom to share. But knowing him, I’d probably also end up miles underground in the prison where he works, so I doubt this would be a good idea.

  1. Would you want to live in your story world? Tell us why or why not.

OF COURSE! I’d love to experience the world alongside Lunetta, my main character. She’s so naïve in so many ways that it would be a pleasure to follow her around and just watch the delight in her eyes.

  1. Can you recommend any authors/books that have inspired you and your style of writing?

Hope Ann, the author of the Legends of Light series was the first to make me realize that Christians can write other things that aren’t strictly Christian fiction.

AnnMarie Pavese, author of So Sang the Dawn, taught me how to feel things in my writing and make my readers feel it too.

The Bible actually inspired the original plot of this story! There was a prophet in the Old Testament that, when he refused to lie to please the king, was locked up in a pit in the ground. While a lot of the elements didn’t stay in this story, the underground dungeon certainly did!

  1. Can you share one lesson you have learned from your writing with your readers?

Do it afraid.

  1. If your writing style could be compared to weather, what would it be?

I’m a thunderstorm writer. My writing is the kind that shakes the earth and thunders in your ears. And as my friend Annie says, “there’s lots of random lightning strikes and lots of people die.”

BONUS: You come face to face with a dragon…what do you do?

I’d like to say I’d have the bravery to be like Hiccup and reach my hand up to it – but I’d probably freak out and pass out.

Iron Core Cover

 

Iron Core Blurb:

Everything will be okay.

Deep in Brancaleone, a prison carved from the mountainside, eighteen-year-old Lunetta plans her escape. Raised behind iron bars, all she wants is freedom – and to take her mother with her.

Get your copy of Iron Core today!

Interviews

Author Interview with Katy Huth Jones

Today we kick-off the blog tour for Mythical Doorways, the anthology from Fellowship of Fantasy where you can find my short story, “Well of Fate.” I am quite honored to host one of the other authors on my blog today. She graciously offered to come over today and tell us a little bit about herself and her short story in the anthology. Please welcome Ms. Katy Huth Jones.

Katy Huth JonesKATY HUTH JONES grew up in a family where creative juices overflowed and made puddles to splash in. In addition to writing fantasy and historical fiction, Katy loves to make music and take photos of birds and other interesting creatures. She lives with her husband Keith in the great state of Texas. Their two sons, whom she homeschooled, have flown the nest and live creative lives of their own. Best of all, she is a 2x cancer survivor.

Find her on Facebook 

Visit her blog

or contact her on twitter @KatyHuthJones
Purchase her books here!!

Hello, Katy! Tell us a bit about your story in the Mythical Doorways Anthology. Does it relate to another book you have written?

Dragon’s Oath is set in Levathia, the fictional world of Mercy’s Prince, but takes place about twenty years earlier. The main character, Ethaniel, has grown up a pacifist in the Brethren village, where Mercy was later born. I wrote this story to find out about a new character in my WIP and realized she was related to Mercy through her grandfather Ethaniel, who was banished from the pacifists over forbidden love. The story took on a life of its own, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover an important dragon character, too.

Would you want to live in your story world? Tell us, why or why not.

I would not want to live in Levathia during Ethaniel’s time, when the land was a much more dangerous place than it becomes in later years. There were dangers from dragons and monsters as well as men.

If your writing style could be compared to the weather, what would it be?

A gentle autumn breeze twirls fallen leaves into a giggling dance, but unexpected gusts scatter the leaves and drive a chill into your heart as you see the billowing storm headed your way.

Can you share an inspirational image with us of a doorway that inspired your story in the Mythical Doorways Anthology?

Gate wooden fort

This is the closest I can find to what I see in my head. The Brethren live inside a tall wooden palisade with one heavy gate that shuts out the world and locks in its people, who do not mingle with outsiders unless forced, and whose members only leave if they run away or are banished, like Ethaniel.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Katy!

Interviews

Interview with Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

Today our guest author is Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, author of the well-know Minstrel’s Song Series. If you haven’t had a chance to check out her books yet, you really must. There are four  books in all: King’s Warrior, Second SonYorien’s Hand, and my personal favorite Minstrel’s Call. Ms. Schmidt has an incredible gift for writing epic fantasy. There are dragons in her books…did you hear me say DRAGONS?

JS Author Photo Color SMALLAuthor Bio: Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their four adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

Now to the Interview!

Why do you like to write stories?

I love writing stories for many different reasons. I love using my imagination and creating fantastical realms and stories of daring and adventure, because I’ve always loved reading, and that’s the sort of story I enjoy reading best. I like to inspire the people around me with questions of “what if?” and make people consider things from angles and perspectives they haven’t thought of before. But most of all, I write because I want to emulate my Father in Heaven who is the Greatest Author of all time. As the Creator of all things, I believe that ultimately, He is the one who has given me this passion for stories and story-telling, and the desire to reflect His creativity in what poor measures that I am able. To be able to create a story, to reflect some of the creativity of my Creator, to inspire someone else, is one of the greatest privileges I can think of.

If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be? What would you do and why?

I would hang out with Kamarie in a heartbeat. She is, in many ways, the person I would like to be when I “grow up.” She is more extraverted, and more impetuous than I, and though life has given her a lot of responsibility, she rises to it with quiet grace while never losing her sense of adventure… a sense of adventure that I sometimes fear I have lost somewhere in the passing of time and growing up and having to be an adult.

I would love to just let her pull me along on a wild adventure. We’d go horseback riding, maybe go visit the Mountains of Dusk and visit with the dragons who live there. I’d love to discuss some literature or battle strategies with a gryphon, catch a glimpse of the Harshlands (though I don’t have a lot of desire to actually wander through that difficult sand-swept desert), spend some time swimming at the Pearl Cove (perhaps chat with a mermaid), and I’d love to try to find the Ionell—the secret haven of the unicorns. After that, maybe we could beg a ride to Llycaelon from a couple of dragons… because flying on dragonback is something I’ve always wanted to do! Whatever we did, though, I know we’d have a blast!

Would you want to live in your story world? Tell us why or why not.

In a heartbeat. Though I would miss indoor plumbing and the conveniences of modern civilization, I would love to live in Tellurae Aquaous. There is enough danger to make the world a good place to have adventures, but it isn’t so dangerous that I fear I would die in the first few chapters. Also, the world is so big and beautiful and full of interesting places to visit and explore. I would never get tired of finding all the nooks and crannies and surprises.

Can you suggest any books/authors that have inspired you and your writing?

Can I recommend…! Well, you asked for it.

George MacDonald’s The Light Princess and The Princess and the Goblin. C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows. Gwen Walker’s He Whistles for the Cricket. Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia. Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Stephen R. Lawhead’s Song of Albion and Pendragon Cycle. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Death Gate Cycle. Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon. Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci Chronicles. Anything by Timothy Zahn… and so very many more. The list of authors who have inspired my imagination and contributed to my style of writing is long, indeed.

Can you share one lesson you have learned from your writing with us today?

I’ve learned that the story doesn’t always turn out the way I thought it would… and that’s okay. Sometimes the story I intend isn’t the story that’s needed, and it is important to listen to my characters, my intuition, or perhaps it is the whisper of God into my heart that causes the words to change direction on me. But when I loosen my hold on the reins a little, that’s when the story always turns into something more beautiful than I expected.

If your writing style could be compared to the weather, what would it be?

I’d love to say a tornado or a snowstorm… something exciting and unexpected that whirls you off into delicious adventures where you completely lose yourself and all sense of time until the last page… but perhaps I’m not quite there yet. Maybe someday.

I’d be perfectly content, however, for my writing to be like a beautiful summer’s day. The kind where you just want to go on a picnic, or spend the day on a boat… that beckons you to forget all your responsibilities and troubles for a little while and linger as long as you can….

Bonus: You come face to face with a dragon: What do you do?

I bow politely and greet the dragon with the respect due his enormous size and strength. Then I quickly ask if he might enjoy some riddles, or perhaps is in need of someone to regale him with stories. I might even offer to sing a little… I have an okay voice, though it’s not anywhere as beautiful as my sister’s… but perhaps he would be interested in hearing some of her songs.

Minstrels Call Cover.jpgThank you for joining us today, Jenelle!

If you’d like to connect with her, you can find Jenelle on FacebookTwitterAmazonGoodreads, and on her personal website Jenelleschmidt.com.

 

Interviews

Interview with AnnMarie Pavese

Today our guest author is the talented Ms. AnnMarie Pavese, author of the enormous debut novel, So Sang the Dawn. If you want to read my review of this amazing book, you may do so here. It’s hard to summarize a 700-800 page novel…but I loved it. So gripping, so intense, so full of emotion…and the redemption message in the ending brought me to tears. You can learn more about AnnMarie and her debut novel on her spiffy website.

You can also connect with AnnMarie on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

PrintAbout the Author: AnnMarie Pavese lives in the mountains of Arizona, which were a huge inspiration in the creation of So Sang The Dawn. A former waitress and web designer, she unashamedly skipped college in order to pursue writing full-time. She spends her days writing, dog-momming, and mentoring other girls as they pursue their own writing dreams. She is obsessed with the woods and the cold and always writes best when it’s raining or snowing.

Now for some questions!

Why do you like to write stories?

I love writing stories for so many reasons. Partially because there’s so much freedom with it; you just get to create anything you want, and it’s your world, so anything goes. On the deeper side of things, I also love doing it because I love getting to breathe a little bit of hope and light into people’s lives and to just really use my characters to show them that they’re not alone.

If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and why? What would you do together?
I would kill to spend time with any and all of my characters, even the antagonists, but I think if I had to narrow it down, I would definitely want to spend the day with Aurora and Raine. I would want to go riding with them in the herders’ valley and just experience the full thrill of doing it in person instead of just writing about it.

Would you want to live in your story world? Tell us why or why not.
coverfinal4 copyI would ABSOLUTELY want to live in my story world. Maybe not in Rathmar, where the girls are held captive, but the rest of the world is so vast and amazing and has the most beautiful places. Frostholm as a whole is based on my favorite kind of landscapes, mountains and forests and snow and unique kinds of wildlife. I would move there in a heartbeat if I could.

Can you recommend any authors/books that have inspired you and your style of writing?
C.S. Lewis was probably my main inspiration, simply because I fell in love with the world of Narnia, and I love how allegorical Lewis was in his writing. I love that everything had a deeper meaning and hidden truths, and his work was really just so universal and applied to anyone from any walk of life. I don’t know that I could ever measure up to him, but I aspire to come close!

Can you share one lesson you have learned from your writing with your readers? 
I’ve learned so many life changing things from writing, one of them being that there’s always hope, and there’s always something better coming, even when we can’t see it. As a writer, I get to be involved in my characters’ lives in a really intimate way, and I actually get to see their whole story at once, from beginning to end. There are times when the characters get discouraged and want to give up because they can’t see a way out, but as the author, I know the amazing things I have planned for them, and I know that the dark parts of their stories aren’t the end. It really helped to give me hope for my own life, and to help me to keep going even when I wanted to give up.

If your writing style could be compared to weather, what would it be?
I think anyone who knows me well knows how obsessed I am with rain and snow. I think I would definitely say my writing is similar to that. It might be dark sometimes, but it’s so needed. It has its gentle moments, where it’s just warm and refreshing, and it has other moments where it’s cold and unforgiving and even bitter to accept at times. Each person takes it to heart in a different way, but no matter how it’s perceived, it always brings hope and the promise of new life.

BONUS: You come face to face with a dragon…what do you do?
I think I would hope and pray that it’s one of the dragons from How To Train Your Dragon so I could befriend it and become a dragonrider. Because who doesn’t want to do that?!

Thank you for joining us today, Annie!

authorphotoMake sure you dash over to Amazon and purchase a copy of her amazing debut novel today. You won’t regret it–I promise! It took me about a week to read this incredible story…I dare you to do it in less!

To learn more about Annie, don’t forget to join us on February 28th from 6pm-9:15pm for our Multi-Author Facebook Event!

Interviews

Interview with DJ Edwardson

Today I have the honor of inviting a new acquaintance of mine over for a chat. Please welcome Mister DJ Edwardson, author of The Last Motley, a fantasy MG novel which I am beyond eager to read, which can be purchased here and The Chronotrace Sequence, a science fiction series for YA, which can be purchased at this site. It’s been a while since I read any new science fiction, so I’m hoping to get a copy of his first book to check it out. I’ve always been a huge fan of clean science fiction and fantasy, and it sounds like that is exactly what DJ produces.

DJ Profile PictureBio: DJ Edwardson has a degree in English from Cornell College where his emphasis was on the works of Shakespeare. He’s tried his hand at both acting and directing in the theater, but these days is happiest with a pen in his hand. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and three children and a rather large collection of board games. His family usually gangs up on him so that he doesn’t win, but he has fun anyway.

What first drew you to write? How did you get started?

Well, like many authors I suppose, I was an English major in college. And though I loved reading, which was where the focus of my studies was, I really loved the writing courses especially. For a while I thought about journalism though. I didn’t really have any aspirations of writing novels.

Then after college I was in Honduras working at an orphanage and I had a lot of time to think. No TV, foreign country, not a terrible lot of friends, you get the picture. And I came up with this idea for a story: what if there was only one Christian left in the world?

So, I scribbled down fifty pages or so in a notebook and then…I got married, moved back to the states, and though at some point I transferred that story to a computer document, I never really thought a whole lot about it after that.

Fast forward many years later and I was part of a book club and really getting excited about stories again, for the first time in a long time. And another guy in the club was working on a short story and he said, “Hey, would you take a look at this?” I said, “Sure,” and that got me thinking about my unfinished novel. I asked him if he’d take a look at it and he was very encouraging. We started exchanging our work and that is when I started writing in earnest. That would have been around 2009, I think.

And the rest, as they say, is history-or actually science fiction, to be more accurate!

chronotrace sequence

So that first book turned into a science fiction series of three books and now you’ve just released your first fantasy novel. What’s it like writing in two genres?

Very, very different. They’re both alternate realities with invented worlds, but the similarities pretty much end there.

The Chronotrace Sequence, my sci-fi series, takes place on this totally, inhospitable planet. There’s technology everywhere, but nothing green, no plant life, no animal life. It’s all metal and sand.

last-motley-on-shelfThe Last Motley, my fantasy book, is sort of an idealized medieval world with towns and rivers and forests and all the rest. It’s so much more full of life, full of color. And of course the magic is particularly colorful in this book. You might get an inkling of that just looking at the cover. The way magic is portrayed is one of the things I think that makes the book stand out.

And the changes spill over to the characters as well. There’s a lot of doubt, ambiguity, and uncertainty in the mind of the main character of the Chronotrace. He’s not jaded or skeptical, but he’s had his memory erased so he’s constantly playing catch up, off balance, unsure of what is going on.

The main character in The Last Motley is out of his element as well. He’s just a tailor and he’s stumbled onto this wild, magical curse that’s threatening the world, but he has strong relationships with his family to fall back on so he’s more grounded. It’s also a much more intimate story with a strong family element woven in right from the beginning.

So, yeah, lots of differences. Writing in one world is a bit like wearing jet boots: total novelty, but unstable, and always a bit off-kilter, and the other is more like an old pair of slippers: comfy, familiar, and they just sort of mold to your toes in the most natural way possible.

So you’re independently published. Did you try to go the traditional route first? Talk about how you landed on this path?

Yeah, well at first I really didn’t even know self-publishing was an option. So, I tried finding an agent. I probably wrote the worst query letters in the history of writing because I didn’t even get form letters back for rejection, just silence. Maybe I did get one or two rejections, but that was it.

Then I stumbled across this author commenting on some post on the internet and claiming to have made $25,000 on her latest release and it had only been out for like 6 months or something. And she said she only paid around $800 for editing and her cover and everything. That’s when I started researching that angle.

Then I went to a writing workshop with a local author who was published by Harper Collins. He was a first-time author, but he said that his publisher was basically just editing his book and giving him a cover. They really weren’t doing anything in terms of marketing.

I started looking at the horrific amount of time it took to go from finished manuscript to print, the awful pay for traditional authors, the fact that they can pull your books for whatever reason, and I took all that in and it just seemed like I would be foolish not to at least give the independent route a go.

If your writing style could be compared to any other writer, who would it be?

Ooo, that’s a tough one. I think I’m probably the least objective person on the planet when it comes to my own writing. My writing might sound like Kermit the Frog for all I know.

But a few reviewers have compared my writing to Lewis and Tolkien, and even George MacDonald. And I know they’re being wildly generous when they say that, but I suppose to some degree we write what we love, don’t we? I mean, actually, Lewis’ Space Trilogy was a conscious inspiration for The Chronotrace Sequence. So, yes, I suppose the kinds of things I write maybe just maybe could be considered in the same wheelhouse.

I’m trying to write very wholesome, good, beautiful stories, with a magical, otherworldy and yet eternal air to them, which are the sort of things that they wrote. Stories that will stand the test of time. I’m not really out to entertain or to try and write what’s popular, what’s in vogue at the moment. I want my stories to have that mythopoeic, timeless feel, which of course Lewis and Tolkien were masters of.

I’m still learning, but if I ever write anything half as good as they did I’ll be thrilled.

The Last MotleyThanks for joining us today, DJ!

Don’t forget that you can purchase copies of his books here at his website, which is quite spiffy, if I do say so myself. So please hop on over and sign up for his newsletter to keep on top of upcoming releases and make sure to snag a copy of his newest book, The Last Motley. The cover is simply stunning, don’t you agree?

 

Interviews

Interview with Hope Ann

Today I have the honor of inviting a special guest to visit my blog. I hope you will all make her welcome and enjoy getting to know a little bit about the lovely Miss Hope Ann and her books. I have read one of her books, and I must confess to enjoying it so much I got a little fangirly. So without further whatnot from me, I am going to turn the floor over to her.

Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated author. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, playing with inspirational photos, blogging, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She has self-published fairy tale retellings on Amazon and is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about her on her website.

Now, a few questions for Hope Ann.

Tell us, Hope, why do you like to write stories?

Why does one like to breathe? I love creating worlds and characters. I love to weave plots and themes together. I love the reactions of readers or learning that something I wrote inspired someone else. But in the end, I can’t quite explain it. It’s just… it’s what I do. And I love it.

If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and why? What would you do together?

Either Ethaniel, from Fidelyon, or Torin from my Cember Earth series (the first is a work in progress and the second is in random planning stages). Both characters have a way at setting people at their ease (if they care to, that is). Ethaniel is quiet and steady, while Torin would plot the kidnapping of a king as some great prank. But either of them would be quite fun to spend time with.

Would you want to live in your story world? Tell us why or why not.

Which one? I’ve three worlds right now, plus the future of our current world. Most of them I’d love to visit, both so I could write about them better and just because it would be cool. Live, though? I like my computers, thank you very much. One of these days I will come up with a story that merges technology with fantasy, but right now I’d prefer to be here. That’s why I work on writing, after all, instead of researching portals.

Can you recommend any authors/books that have inspired you and your style of writing?

I love anything by Tolkien. He was one of the first fantasy writers I read much of. I also love Brandon Sanderson; the imagination and characters and plots of his books are brilliant. Also, I love my friend, Kate Flournoy’s writing—I’ve learned so much from it and love everything she’s written.

Can you share one lesson you have learned from your writing with your readers?

Don’t ever stop, if you are committed to it. Writing is about nothing if not perseverance. It gets hard. Sometimes plots don’t come together. Or they don’t work. Or a book ends up doubling the word count you need. Or a hundred other things. But don’t stop. Keep moving, keeping staring at a blank screen and muttering to yourself and pacing the floor until you figure out your problem. Because, given time and dedication, you can figure it out. You just need to keep at it.

If your writing style could be compared to weather, what would it be?

A breaking storm with quick bursts of rain and heavy wind, followed by the golden light of a rising sun that turns the rain to diamonds.

Thank you for stopping in to visit with us today, Hope. I know we all enjoyed getting to know you and hear about some of your fascinating story worlds.

Before she goes, I wanted to share with you a little bit about her book Burning Rose. Before we get to that, I just have to fangirl for a moment because…THIS COVER! Isn’t it absolutely stunning? Her book is on sale right now and I highly suggest you dash over to her website to learn more about the details.

A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.

Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.

Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.

Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.

Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before.